Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the important Indian School of Public Policy application deadlines?

The admissions cycle for Indian School of Public Policy is split into three cycles. Please view the date and timeline tab above for more.

2. Who is eligible to apply for the ISPP’s class of 2021-22?

ISPP is looking for a diverse, intellectually curious and socially conscious student body, open to a wide variety of career options related to public policy be it in government, corporates or civil society organisations.

The programme is open to anyone who has completed his/her undergraduate studies in any discipline. The programme is open to Indian nationals only. We welcome college graduates from India or abroad, with or without prior public policy experience or education. However, we prefer graduates who have had prior work experience in any field. Applicants are encouraged to apply from across disciplines and career fields.

Regardless of past work-experience, present career or choice of discipline at the Bachelors’ or Masters’ level. While no prior public policy experience or education is expected from applicants, basic quantitative skills and fluency in English is necessary to make the most out of the programme.

3. Can you describe the selection process at ISPP?

The admission process is divided in 3 parts. A quick look at the process is as follows:
1. Application form:

  • Personal Information
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Financial Aid Details (to include last salary slip) (included in the enclosed documents)

2. Quantitative and Verbal Assessment Test with 15 MCQ questions each to be solved in 30 minutes + Essay (250-300 words on a policy issue) to be submitted in 1 hour.
3. The interview panel might choose to ask you questions based on the details provided in the application form. Please make sure all details provided are verifiable.

4. What should I focus on in the SOP?

While writing the statement of purpose, please focus on- what public policy means to you?; how is your academic/professional experiences built into your public policy interests?; your career plan in public policy; and, your motivation to apply to ISPP.

5. Who should write my letter of recommendation?

Your letter of recommendation should be written by a person who has been your mentor or colleague academically or professionally. It should not be written by a friend or relative.

6. Who conducts the interviews?

The interviews are conducted by panel members who are part of the faculty or leadership team at ISPP.

7. Where will the in-person interview take place?

All personal interviews (PIs) for ISPP class of 2021-22 will be conducted online, owing to the current safety protocols.

8. How should I prepare for my personal interview (PI) and group discussion (GD)?

The group discussion will be conducted on a particular policy topic which will be announced at the start of the discussion. Around 4-5 applicants will participate in each group discussion and the session will last for not more than 1-hour. While the group will analyse and discuss the policy topic, each applicant will be scored on parameters like critical thinking and analysis skills; ability to clearly articulate ideas; ability to engage in an informed debate; and, general conduct during the course of the discussion.

The personal interview will take 30 minutes and will be conducted by two panellists. The parameters on which each applicant will be judged and scored on are as follows:

  1. Motivation to work in the public policy sector
  2. Interest in public policy
  3. Communication skills

9. If the medium of instruction in my institution was other than English, am I still eligible for the programme?

Yes, you are eligible. However, we expect a certain level of proficiency in the English language so one is able to converse, read and write in English given that the medium of instruction at the ISPP is English.
Additionally, we have a Policy Writing and Communications Lab at ISPP which works closely with the scholars to help them improve their writing and communication skills.

10. What skills, background, or technical experience do I need to be an ISPP scholar?

Even though we prefer graduates who have had prior work experience in any field, we do not expect applicants to possess any specific skills, background or technical experience. Furthermore, our application review process takes a close look at the curricular and extracurricular activities undertaken by the applicant during school and/or college that showcases their excellence in sports; performing or fine arts; science and technology; or, commitment to social service and volunteering. We look for an individual’s ability to work well in a collaborative environment, aptitude for leadership, communication skills, humility and adaptability.

11. How do I apply to the Indian School of Public Policy?

  1. Application: Register on admissions.ispp.org.in and fill the application form which includes your credentials along with a statement of purpose (explaining why you want to attend a programme in public policy and why you want to pursue this programme at ISPP) along with the contact information of your recommender.
  2. Quantitative & Qualitative Test: Applicants will need to take a Quantitative and English proficiency test + write a 300 word essay after the application submission.
  3. Statement of Purpose (SOP) & Letter of Recommendation (LOR): LOR needs to be submitted by this stage. SOP and LOR will be reviewed for the qualified candidates.
  4. Group Discussion (GD) & Personal Interview (PI): Those who clear the SOP and LOR round will be invited to participate in the group discussion and personal interview.
  5. Offer: Successful applicants will receive acceptance letters. Successful financial aid applicants will receive financial aid offers.

12. When does the application process for admission to Indian School of Public Policy start?

The applications open in late January, 2021. Kindly refer to the ISPP social media channels and the website’s admissions page for further updates.

13. When will I hear from the admissions team about my application?

The status of your application will be communicated to you within 12 working days, through an email.

14. Do I have to complete the entire application within one session?

No, you can complete the online application in multiple sessions and have the option to save parts of the application as you proceed.

15. How do I send in my academic transcripts/mark sheets, other documents and photographs required as part of the application?

In addition to details of the applicant’s academic credentials, information about prior work experience, extra- curricular and professional projects, submission of scanned school and university transcripts/marksheet is required, wherever marked(*). Similarly, all photographs and additional documents will need to be uploaded on the portal or when requested. We do not expect you to submit anything by post.

16. Can I re-apply?

Yes, you can re-apply but not within the same academic year. You will have to submit a fresh application in the following year.

17. Do you acknowledge receipt of application by email?

Yes, an automated email will be sent to you upon submission of the application.

18. What is the strength of the ISPP class size?

For the class of 2021-22, we will select approximately 50 individuals.

19. Is the programme at ISPP residential?

No, it is a non residential programme. ISPP will not be providing any residential facilities, however, upon your request, the ISPP team will be happy to assist you/provide recommendations with regard to your accommodation. If more than 10-15 scholars choose to stay in one place, in that case, ISPP will provide a shuttle service to and back from campus. ISPP will not take any responsibility for the price, contract and/or quality of services provided by the residential facility that the scholars may decide to choose. Each scholar will be expected to sign an individual contract with their agreed residential facility.

20. Is there an option to defer the admission offer?

No, there is no such option. However, the candidate may re-apply in the following academic year.

1. What is the Fee Structure for the Indian School of Public Policy?

Kindly refer to the Fee and Financial Aid section on the admissions page for a clear idea on the fee structure of the programme.

The fee is INR 8,00,000/- which includes the tuition cost of the programme. A GST of 18% will be applicable on this amount.

2. Who is eligible to apply for financial aid?

Financial Aid is provided to deserving candidates on merit-cum-means basis. The Financial Aid committee scrutinizes every application on their merit and means to finally decide appropriate aid for deserving candidates.

3. What are the documents required to apply for financial aid?

To apply for financial aid, the required supporting documents are:

    1. Last three months’ salary slips for earning members of the family. If they are employed, Income Tax returns for the last two financial years for each earning member will be required.
    2. a) Individual bank account statement for the last one-year for the main salary/income account for each earning member of the family, including the candidate’s.b) Statement of financial assets (Fixed Deposits, Mutual Funds).
    3. Income Tax Returns for the last two years for businesses owned by the family members.
    4. Audited financial statements for last one-year for the businesses owned by the family members.
    5. Loan account statement for all loans undertaken by the family members or the business owned by family members.
    6. Annual fees of the previous college attended by the candidate and any scholarship received.
    7. Annual school fees paid for siblings of candidate, if enrolled.
    8. Notes on any major medical expenses borne by the family on a one-time, or annual or monthly-basis.
    9. Allotment document for fixed assets (apartment, land) which mentions the purchase price.

5. If selected, when do I pay for the programme?

  1. 20% of the tuition fees has to be paid before 2 August 2021 (exact details will be communicated at a later date)
  2. 30% of the tuition fees has to be paid by 2 August 2021
  3. 50% of the tuition fees has to be paid by 28 January 2022

6. How do I make the payment?

RTGS, NEFT, IMPS – Mode for Payments

1. What kind of Industry engagements does ISPP have in place?

Right from its inception, ISPP has focused on building collaborations with organisations from across sectors and has initiated various engagement activities that provide our scholars with potential networking opportunities. This not only helps them learn more about the real-time policy challenges but also gives them a chance to explore the many approaches taken across various domains to achieve sustainable solutions.
The activities are as follows:

Right from its inception, ISPP has focused on building collaborations with organisations from across sectors and has initiated various engagement activities that provide our scholars with potential networking opportunities. This not only helps them learn more about the real-time policy challenges but also gives them a chance to explore the many approaches taken across various domains to achieve sustainable solutions.

The activities are as follows:

(i) Tea and Policy sessions:

‘Tea and Policy’ sessions are hour-long informal meetups where we connect experienced professionals from diverse fields within the policy sector with an intimate group of 15 to 20 ISPP scholars who are passionate about the field. The aim is to enrich our scholars with a deeper understanding of the field they’ve expressed interest in and enable a space where they can discuss and debate diverse perspectives on policy issues.

A few policy professionals who have engaged with our scholars include:

Manager Public Policy – Google; Co-Founder – Chase India; Senior Partner – Deloitte; CEO – ID Insights; Senior Partner – PwC India Director – CDP; Director Public Policy – NASSCOM and many more.

(ii) Immersive Learning Project (ILP):

Immersive Learning Projects (ILPs) are high impact and unique learning experiences for scholars at ISPP to collaborate on real time projects guided by project leads from client organisations. It is an eight week engagement where our scholars work remotely in teams on diverse thematic areas like skill development, WASH, public health, education, migration and more. ILP is a great way to provide the scholars a platform to completely immerse in live projects related to public policy that enables learning by doing.

Organisations where our scholars did their Immersive Learning Projects:

Development Monitoring and Evaluating Office (DMEO); NITI Aayog; Boston Consulting Group (BCG); National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Ernst & Young (E&Y), Safe Water Network and more.

(iii) Policy Hackathon:

Policy Hackathon is one of the most enriching and fun experiences at ISPP! We usually invite organisations to give scholars a real policy challenge, and the scholars get 24 hours to work and present their solutions. The campus stays open all night, and of course there’s an endless supply of chai/snacks.

(iv) Policy Competitions:

ISPP nominates its scholars to participate in policy competitions that are organised by other public policy institutions or organisations. This is an exciting experience for our scholars to not only showcase their work but also engage with other policy and young professionals.

(v) Placements:

ISPP has a dedicated careers team working with each scholar to explore prospective career pathways and towards enabling career opportunities of the scholar’s choice. The careers and placements team at ISPP assists and prepares its scholars to apply for a range of jobs relevant to their skill sets and training that they acquire over the course of their one-year at ISPP.

A few of our recruiters are as follows:

Avaada Group; The Education Alliance; The Economist Intelligence Unit; Ministry of Health, Government of India; Andhra Pradesh Government; Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS); Chief Ministers Good Governance Associates (CMGGA); Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI); Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy; India Development Foundation (IDF); KPMG; English Bolo; SBI Foundation and many more.